H8 7 H8

Yes, I drank some Montchenot. No, my world wasn't blurry like this photo.
Indifferent to customer service indifference, and probably numbed by five years (my anniversary today, in fact) of living in Argentina, there are, however, two things that really, really make me angry.


Bad manners.

Some people might lump them both together. But Rudeness – and its antonym in the second part of this blog – is the subject for my debate (rant).

Taking out an Irish mate in Palermo, I had the re-cock-ulous idea of taking her to a former speakeasy whose reputation for making incredible drinks and being ultra hip precedes it – and it was re-cock-ulous because I now regret it.

I’ll admit, we’d been on the sauce that day but no one was out of hand or slurring. We were happy and having a good time.

I stood at the end of the bar for several minutes, and no bar tender deigned to glance in my direction. I moved to the busier end. Still nothing. Next to me, a man rose from his bar stool and as I moved in for the kill, he told me: “You can’t sit there. My friends are going to sit down.”

I was livid. I wasn’t so blind drunk as to imagine it was summer and I’d staggered up to the wrong beach tent and tried to clamber onto someone else’s sun lounger. With someone else on it. I was livid and I was speechless.

I continued to wait for the wink. And it came. But in the format of being told to move out the way by the head bartender, as I was in the way of the service area.

I agreed that I was – annoying as hell, of course. I worked in a bar for two years so I know – and I commented that punters were apparently “hiring” stools then subletting them out. I’d already been waiting at the other end to no avail so where did she suggest I wait?

She said she didn’t care, and that I was to move. And stalked off.

My anger was exacerbated by the fact that 24 hours earlier I had written the most glowing of reviews for a US guide book about this former speakeasy. I’ve been there several times over the past three years although I’m not familiar with the staff or owners. All I wanted to do was delete that glowing review and if possible, delete the actual bar, its stools, and its bottles of spirits and everything in it.

Shame on me, I actually pulled out the journalist card and told them all this. But you know what? I was part of a group of customers and in many countries, the customer is always right.

Maybe being “right”, always, is over the top. But how about some eye contact, a fake smile to indicate you’ve seen me? Why not shove a wine list under my nose to keep me occupied for a bit?

Right now, I’d swap rudeness for indifference. Because that was a whole new level of bad customer service, bad attitude and absolutely the worse rudeness I’ve been subjected to in five years (to the day, check my passport) of living in Argentina.

878. Shame on you.

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